UCSO and Mountain Lakes Drug Task Force seize mushrooms, marijuana, weapons, and $20,000 in cash

BUCKHANNON — An Upshur County man was arrested Thursday for allegedly transporting controlled substances into the state of West Virginia, according to a press release issued by the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office Friday.

Benjamin G. Rich, 39, of French Creek, was arrested following a weeklong investigation conducted by Sgt. Rodney S. Rolenson. According to the press release, a drug transportation, repackaging and distribution investigation that began on Friday, September 30, 2022, resulted in the follow-up and service of a search warrant on Thursday, October 6, 2022.

During the search, officers “recovered and seized over forty (40) pounds of marijuana, fifty-four grams of psilocybin mushrooms, multiple rifles, handguns, packaging material, scales and approximately $20,000 in U.S. currency,” the release says.

Photo courtesy Upshur County Sheriff’s Office

“After two attempts to deliver two (2) separate intercepted UPS packages containing marijuana were unable to be delivered, members of the Mountain Lakes Drug Task Force along with members of the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant on Rich’s residence on Ours Mill Road in French Creek,” the release continues.

The release says that while no one was present in the residence at the time of service of the search warrant, Rich was later found during a traffic stop on Sago Road at approximately 6:15 p.m., operating a 2006 Audi A6, by members of the MLDVCU and the Upshur County Sheriff’s Office.

“An additional seizure of approximately two (2) pounds of marijuana, packaging material and a loaded firearm was found in the possession of the suspect, who is also a convicted felon,” the release adds. “The suspect was arrested for Transporting Controlled Substance into the state of West Virginia and Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm.”

Rich is being held on a $25,000 cash-only bond in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail, according to court documents and the West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority.

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